Monday, September 28, 2009


At one time or the other, most people go through a period of sadness, trial, loss, frustration or failure. It can be so disturbing and long lasting that it can be called a dark night of the soul. If health is your main interest, you may try to overcome the darkness quickly. But if you are looking for meaning, character and personal substance, you may discover that a dark night has many gifts for you.

Today we tag many of these experiences as "depression", but not all dark nights are depressive. Its time for a different way of imagining this common experience and hence a different way of dealing with it.

Every human life is made up of the light and dark, the happy and the sad, the vital and the deadening. Our thoughts about the rhythm of moods makes all the difference. Are you going to hide out in self delusion and distracting entertainments? Are you going to become cynical and depressed? Or are you going to open your heart to a mystery that is as natural as the the sun and the moon, day and night, summer and winter?

Most of us have gone through several dark nights of the soul. We may be in the middle of one now, may be a difficult marriage, having a child in trouble or caught in a tenacious and terrible mood. For some these are problems to be solved, but for others a source of deep despair. A true dark night of the soul is not a surface challenge but a development that takes you away from the joy of your ordinary life. An external event or an internal mood strikes you at the core of your existence. This not just a feeling but a rupture in your very being. It may take a long while to get through to the other end of it.

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